Saturday, May 18, 2013
Vito announces resignation from Assembly and City Council bid
From the NY Times:
State Assemblyman Vito J. Lopez, the once-powerful Brooklyn Democratic leader who has been accused of sexual harassment by several women, said on Friday that he would resign. But his offer only inflamed an uproar over his behavior because, a few words later, he said the resignation would not take effect for five weeks, and then he would run for a seat on the New York City Council.
The Assembly speaker, Sheldon Silver, whose own handling of the initial allegations against Mr. Lopez has been widely criticized, vowed to press ahead with an effort to expel Mr. Lopez from the Legislature immediately.
And the Council speaker, Christine C. Quinn, called for an all-out effort to prevent Mr. Lopez from winning election to that body this fall.
“Vito Lopez should not spend another day in office, let alone a whole month,” Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo said in a statement. “He should resign effective immediately, and if he does not, he must be expelled.”
The denunciations from the state’s leading Democratic officials demonstrated the remarkably steep fall of Mr. Lopez.
Until he was publicly accused of harassment, he had been a political boss with considerable influence. In Brooklyn, he has controlled a sprawling nonprofit agency, the Ridgewood Bushwick Senior Citizens Council, that served as a de facto political machine for him and his allies. And in Albany, he had clout as chairman of the Housing Committee.
Mr. Lopez’s determination to run for the Council also served as a reminder of the extraordinary staying power of incumbents in New York. Mr. Lopez was easily re-elected last fall, against only nominal opposition, even after he had been censured by the Assembly, and few are ruling out an election this fall to the Council.
Why were these people silent for so long when they knew for years about Vito's tweeding? Could it be that they were benefiting from it so they kept their mouths shut?